Travelling to Sicily with O.M.
Finally, after looking forward to it for a year, I boarded the plane to Rome, together with another Dutch girl whom I met a week before. We were on our way to Sicily!
We met 2 other girls who we got acquainted to with two weeks earlier, who were also going to the “Transform Conference”. While chatting time flew by and we could board the delayed airplane. After sitting in my chair very excited for two hours, knowing where we were going to, we finally landed in Rome. There was the first challenge: Find the Meeting point of O.M (Operation Mobilisation). After wandering around for a while we found the Meeting point and we could drive through beautiful Italy to the hotel in Pomezia.
The conference was held from Monday the 13th of July till Friday the 17th of July. There were services in the morning and evening, with in between seminars and workshops, time to meet your team (people from over the whole world), private time, and delicious food.
In these five days we prepared ourselves, together with our team, for the Outreach to come.
On Saturday the 18th of July together with four other team members I flew from Rome to Palermo. This flight is very short, nothing more than taking off and landing and so after an hour we were in the taxi driving through the narrow streets of Palermo to our home for the coming nine days: a Church in Palermo.
At arrival we could join a nice meal together with the rest of the team, who arrived a flight earlier. After dinner, prepared by the pastor’s wife, we discussed the plans for the children’s program with Sergio (the pastor) in the little church in Capaci. In the mornings there would be a program for the children and in the afternoon a program for the children together with their parents.
That Monday we left for Capaci in the morning to decorate the church, to clean the yard in front of the church and to prepare everything so we could start the program in the afternoon. While cleaning we noticed that no children were playing outside. Some people whom we were working with from the church in Palermo started to examine where all children went. It appeared that the Roman Catholic Church also held a project, and that all children were with them to a Waterfunpark, and that they also had planned activities for every morning for the children.
So we changed our plans into having children’s outreach in the afternoons and had to plan something new for the mornings.
We decided to reach out into the neighbourhood around the church and to meet with local people what they thought about their neighbourhood and about what they should want to change there. We had some very good talks with the people and we also could share some gospel with them.
From Tuesday until Friday afternoon , between 4.30-7 PM we had a program for the children that was singing, dancing, a Bible story, some crafts, and after that sports and games outside in the place in front of the church (we cleaned it every day). All four days there were a lot of children, about 20. And together with us they had four very nice afternoons, closing every day playing a game with waterballoons. On Friday, the last day of the outreach, it was a little different: This whole afternoon is was: ‘International Afternoon’, on which every member of the team told something of their own country he or she lives in. There were dances, tasty snacks and saying goodbye to the children.
A nice closure of a good week together with the children. One of the fathers told that he had never seen so many boys and girls playing together there!
On Saturday we had a day to spent for ourselves and we went walking and shopping in Palermo. In the afternoon our team and the people from Palermo went to the beach together. We had a nice swim and saw some beautiful fishes. We also evaluated and memorized the past week.
As a thank you to the community, for all the meals they prepared and the warm welcome, our team sang a song in church on the Sunday morning. In the afternoon we were invited to a bible camp. Here we also sang, chatted and had dinner. We came back in the middle of the night in Palermo to pack our bags as we had to leave for home the next morning.
The drive to the airport was too short because I didn’t feel like going home yet. After a tiring flight, because of the short night, I arrived home in a cold and wet Holland.
I Look back to two amazing weeks in Rome and Sicily.
I’m grateful to God for all He has taught me these two wonderful weeks and for what I, together with my team, meant for the two churches on Sicily and the children.
I’m grateful for everyone who has sponsored me and for everyone who has prayed for me and my team.
I was able to have an awesome trip!